Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dorsett Vandeventer Graves

A cartoon depicting D.V. Graves'
career before coaching at Alabama.
Dorsett Vandeventer Graves, better known as "D.V." or "Tubby," was the University of Alabama's football coach from 1911 through 1915. A native of Alabama, Graves attended the University of Missouri from 1906 to 1908 where he played football and baseball.

He was hired as Alabama's 12th football coach in 1911 and became the school's baseball and basketball coach the following year. Highlights of his tenure included a 1912 victory over regional powerhouse Sewanee and a 13-0 shut out of John Heisman's Georgia Tech team in 1914.

In 1912 George Hutchenson Denny became the president of the University of Alabama. Denny saw football as a way to increase the the profile of the school and became very hands on in the athletics department. And to do that he knew he needed a winner.

Alabama's 1912 team.
While Graves' Alabama squads never suffered a losing season, by 1914 it was clear he wasn't the coach to take the Alabama program to the next level. Denny replaced him with Thomas Kelly in 1915. Graves finished at Alabama with a respectable 21-12-3 record (.625).

Graves next popped up at Texas A&M as an assistant under Dana X. Bible. He assumed the head coaching responsibilities for the Aggies in 1918 when Bible served in the military for World War I. The team performed quite well under his leadership losing just one game, a 0-7 contest against the Longhorns in Austin on Nov. 28, 1918.

When Bible returned in 1919, Graves went back to his role as an assistant coach and was on hand as A&M rolled to an undefeated (and unscored upon) season that culminated in a national championship. In 1920, Graves had moved on to the head coaching position at Montana State, where he amassed a 5-5-1 over two seasons.

Graves then headed to the Pacific Northwest where he signed on at the University of Washington. Between 1923 and 1946 Graves served as an assistant coach on the football team and baseball head coach. He later became the assistant director of athletics.

Graves passed away in 1960. He is now enshrined in the Husky Hall of Fame and the school's former baseball field as well as its current intercollegiate athletics building were named in his honor.

A version of this entry first appeared on Burnt Orange Nation.